Election Day 2010 . . . The Day After

Driving many voters to the polls across the country in yesterday’s election was the theme of anxiety and disappointment.  Just about everywhere, Election Day 2010 felt far removed from 2008.  Two years ago, after all, there was no Tea Party. The rise of the conservative Tea Party movement added a new element to the election cycle, boosting little-known and inexperienced candidates into national media spotlight and in some cases, ultimate victory over mainstream political figures. Guess the jury is out whether the Tea Party movement will remain a lasting force in American politics.

Two years ago, the nation was in financial shock.  Now hard times are all too familiar.  I heard one report that 30% of all voters yesterday had  first-hand experience with unemployment; with an immediate family member currently out-of-work.  With such difficult economic times, it was particularly depressing to read that this long and bitter campaign season cost more than $3.5 billion.  How many better ways could these billions of dollars been spent in this country?

These past two years, politics across America has been fueled by turmoil – town hall meetings that dissolved into shouting matches, persistent questions about the motives of leaders on both sides and a non-stop partisan battling.  Enough negativity and nastiness existed to spawn last weekend’s rally in Washington with John Stewart, all in the name of restoring sanity in America.

The disappointment and helpless sentiment was not hard to find across the country in an election that took place against a backdrop of persistently high unemployment, no sign of real improvement in the economy and divisive politics. Everywhere you look, people seem to be looking for someone or something to blame – whether the President, Congress, a political party, etc.  Finding someone to blame would make things a lot easier to accept; but I am not entirely sure that is realistic. 

Locally, in the State House 157 race, Warren Kampf defeated incumbent State Rep Paul Drucker.  As a current sitting supervisor, Kampf will be vacating his Tredyffrin seat for his new job in Harrisburg. His departure from Tredyffrin’s Board of Supervisors is only an assumption . . . maybe there is no requirement and he can be both a state representative and a township supervisor.

Many have been let down, including myself, about the partisan divide and what seems unwillingness for people to work together and move forward.  There is much work to be done in the country, the Commonwealth and here in Tredyffrin Township but . . . I remain hopeful for the future.

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35 Comments

  1. The voters – the “good and decent people” (Mr. Obama’s term) outside of Washington – have spoken. In my view, they voted for low taxes, less government, and fiscal restraint. This is, and always has been, the predominant mindset in Tredyffrin.

    Others, particularly supporters of the direction since 2008, have suggested that the voters just haven’t given the various programs, i.e. the stimulus and health care reform, time to work or that the “messaging” needs to be better. Or that it was political miscalculation that cost the Democrats.

    On a local level, I’d be interested in others’ thoughts on what made the difference in the Kampf – Drucker race.

    Kate Reply:

    Mike,
    YOU may have voted for lower taxes, less government and fiscal restraint, but exit polls confirm that voters were overwhelmingly focused on jobs. Lower taxes was mentioned by only 17%. Neither was deficit reduction a major concern. It was all about jobs.

    People understand that lowering taxes, or extending the Bush tax cuts, will be paid for with borrowed money and increase the deficit by several trillion dollars over the next ten years. There is no empirical evidence that trickle-down economics actually works. More jobs have been added under Obama and his demonized stimulus plan than were created in 8 years of George W. Bush.

    That’s a fact.

    I believe voters blamed the party in power for all that has gone wrong – unfair since the destructive seeds were sown before Obama took office and most before the Democrats took control of the House.

    At the state level, voters gave Republicans 100% responsibility for getting the state back on solid fiscal footing. Good luck with that…….I see Gov. elect Corbett is already backing off his “no new tax” pledge by planning a drilling “fee”. I say “better than nothing” but in all likelihood, this fee will not begin to pay for the environmental damage these carpetbaggers will do to our beautiful state, nor will it compensate the road and infrastructure damage done to local communities affected by the onslaught of these drillers.

    But then climate change is dead, right? That’s what Karl Rove told a group of drillers at a conference held here in PA on Wednesday. Tuesday was a great day for gas drillers poised to rape our state.

    And if PA doesn’t impose restrictions, there will be no oversight forthcoming from the federal government. Dick Cheney saw to that when he held his secret energy summit and exempted gas drilling from federal regulation back in 2001. Given the make-up of the incoming House , there will be no legislation to protect the 34 states affected by gas drilling.

    Flyers Fan thinks an all-Republican giovernment will solve the state’s massive pension problem? I look forward to seeing these “experts” at work. No doubt state workers and teachers will get the shaft in the process.

    Tony Auth’s editorial page cartoon today predicts Republicans’ intentions ….Though they gained control of one house of Congress, they already think they own the place, and plan to undo Obama’s signature legislation ( and tie up Congress with subpoenas and investigations). They, in their supreme arrogance, will no doubt overreach. Gingrich redux.

    The combined brain power of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell does not inspire – not to mention their total devotion to big business interests and not the working and middle class people of this country. Are these bozos likely to move our economy forward, or will it be more partisan rancor and legislative gridlock?

    But then McConnell’s stated #1 goal is to make sure President Obama is a one-term president.

    Just politics? No, Obama needs to stand up and use all his executive powers. . He needs to rally Democratic legislators to work on behalf of the American people, not the corporations. He needs to kick some butt for the next two years.

    Re the Drucker – Kampf debacle? Kampf lied about 422 and used it to eke out 600 votes. The lesson? Lies win. Also, the TTRC got their older, more conservative, lock-step people out.. The party is to be given credit for the efforts they made on behalf of an unworthy candidate..

    I believe Mr. Drucker did a terrific job for the 157th and worked across the aisle to get things done. Let’s see if Mr. Kampf makes an effort to do the same. He will be representing a moderate district with diverse concerns. Is a self-described conservative who won with Tea Party support committed to doing this? We’ll just have to keep a close eye on “Mr. Kampf Goes to Harrisburg” and see………

    Mike in Berwyn Reply:

    Kate:

    You have the Democratic talking points down pat . And who is exhibiting partisan rancor now? i.e., Dick Cheney’s secret summit, Karl Rove, Gingrich, “bozos”, “carpetbaggers”, “gas drillers poised to rape our state”, “supreme arrogance”, “Kampf lied”…

    If “it’s all about jobs”, how do you reconcile that with your apparent desire to shut down the Marcellus Shale which is the biggest job creator in Pennsylvania? As you may recall, my position was that the drillers should pay for their infrastructure and environmental costs, but the Democrats in the legislature overreached in an effort to grab tens of millions for the General Fund.

  2. Can anyone say Rt. 422 tolling? Based on what I can see on Tredyffrin results Drucker did a lot better against Kampf then he did against Guy C. I would of thought more votes out of Tredyffrin for Kampf via the Republican machine and the ‘tidal’ wave. Again, Rt. 422 tolling was no doubt the monkey Drucker couldn’t get off his back in the sections of Montgomery that make up the 157th. Huge wins for Kampf in those areas compared to 2008 results for the Republicans.

    I am interested to see what Kampf does or doesn’t do as the new State Rep with the 422 tolling and other issues associated with it. I would guess he will be in campaign mode very early for 2013 based on the results of his victory. 2 years goes by fast.

  3. just one thing more about the national election.. among many things I just cant get it out of my craw that the federal government is suing arizona..a metaphor for the disgrace that is this administration. When was obama last in arizona or texas or new mexico? He has 2 more years then back to organizing rable rousers in the mean streets of chicago. I have seen the devil..

    Just a thought Reply:

    Pathetic, flyersfan – Barack Obama is still your president and even if you are not a supporter of his, you should respect the office.

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Thank you.

    Toshiro Takashi Reply:

    Yes, he deserves all the respect that President Bush received.

    Just a thought Reply:

    I DID respect G. Bush as our president even though I was appalled at his decisions and actions over the 8 years he served. I certainly never alluded to him being the “devil”.

    flyersfan Reply:

    just a thought… I respect the office more than he does. And I give the office and the PResident more respect than George W Bush received… I wouldn’t call that pathetic, but I realize you may be overly sensitive as you lick your wounds.

    flyersfan Reply:

    The President is flying the coup, on a very expensive foreign excursion. I don’t blame him afterall.. he is the president of the world. What a success. He has to earn my respect and so far he has shown that he is way in over his head. Sorry. This isn’t a tin pot dictatorship and no matter how you feel I think this President’s policies are antethetical to the American spirit.

    John, I agree that all of the Presidents you mentioned haven’t addressed the immigration issue.. It will take a certain courage, but in a time where referendi were on ballots to grant illegals the right to vote, it is getting down to nitty gritty time. Locally, it is time to see what happens before judgement is rendered.

    flyersfan Reply:

    John, the Federal gov’t is not helping Arizona… They are ignoring the problem, or were until Arizona duplicated the Federal law and decided to enforce it. Clearly the democratic machine sees the illegals as a budding constituency that deserves their tacit support, even if that means all hell breaks loose on the southern border. In my mind, this is a very important issue, Legal immigrants also are victimized by illegals. There is the rule of law. And the feds are abrogating their responsibilities. Who are the enemies? Right, those who don’t see the way of our messianic leader.

  4. Referring to Mr. Drucker’s 422 tolling position in the April Times-Herald interview, our resident political seer, John Peterson said on 4/10, “Paul suggesting this idea is probably one of the most politically misguided suggestions I have heard in quite some time.”

    Anonymous Reply:

    Agreed Mike. John I also see what you are saying about the ‘fee’ thing. This is ridiculous. Bill Bellow (spelling) made the best public comments about the fee vs. tax issue at a Tredyffrin Supervisors meeting many months ago. They are the same thing to tax payers. Corbett is kidding himself if he thinks he won’t raise ‘taxes’ or ‘fees’ with being $5 billion in the red.

    flyersfan Reply:

    John, your first line eliminates my desire to read anything else in your paragraph. By the way, as big a “mess” that was left by Bush, that mess is way worse now.. stimulus? Bailouts? c’mon. you can do better. I know… Mr Obama(respect enough?) has saved millions of jobs. yea right.

    Harrisburg has hamstrung local school boards. Will the new government there provide any relief?

    anon80 Reply:

    Did Kampf campaign on not taking a per diem? No tickee, no laundry.

    The other joke Mr. P (no misspellingss here…) is that you say that the 422 toll thing was a lie used to win….but what about the scary stuff I got about Kampf and moldy homes and reckless spending….isn’t that lies that didn’t work to win?

    neither candidate can or should be proud of their efforts int he campaign…both slung a lot around, but in the end, you can compare this year’s vote to 2008 vote and it doesn’t matter, does it? Looked to me like WK got about the same votes as Toomey in most precincts…so the anti-incumbent mentality (get an R in there instead of a D) worked, right?

    By the way — don’t we all think Shimrak will be the “interim” — someone who knows the rules and doesn’t plan to run. I didn’t live here when he was on the board — is he a crony?

    From The West Reply:

    We already know there are going to be “fees” instead of “taxes” on the shale. Nobody talked about it before the election – which was a good idea I suppose.
    ***********************

    Actually, John, several candidates talked about a fee rather than a tax before the election. For example, here is one candidate (from a drilling area) who specifically called for permitting fees on the industry:

    http://www.repgabler.com/NewsItem.aspx?newsID=9554

    Perhaps, John, you should check the facts before you speak in absolutes. While I understand the blog-o-sphere encourages your type of discourse, it is quite disrespectful to Pattye’s efforts. You have your own closed blog from which to spew your venom to your acolytes.

    Mike in Berwyn Reply:

    Thank you for the link, From The West… a well-articulated, sensible and fair proposal for dealing with the real impacts of Marcellus drilling, while maintaining its economic viability and job-creating potential.

    Mike in Berwyn Reply:

    Sorry, John – though you post here all the time under various monikers, it’s been so long since you have used your name, I forgot how to spell it.

    From the West Reply:

    In Tredyffrin, where 422 was not a hot issue, Paul actually did better in 2010 than he did in 2008

    And Warren, in spite of his campaign rhetoric that levying such costs against the gas producers will be a “job killer”, will vote for the “fee”.

    ************

    Well, JP, i see you’ve wasted no time in continuing your hatred and willingness to make anything up.

    Paul Drucker should have done better in Tredyffrin than 2 years ago — he had 2 years to build a base, a record, etc. If he hadn’t, that would have been an even worse indictment of his time as Rep than his defeat.

    Second, where did Warren Kampf ever say that a shale tax would be a “job killer?” I never saw that anywhere. In fact, the positions I saw him take on the shale were that he didn’t think a tax was the best first option but that gas companies, etc., should be held accountable for the cost of policing them, environmental oversight, impact to local communities, etc. In this case, a fee is a fee b/c it is being imposed directly on the affected party — and being used to deal with the effects caused by that party. That seems more reasonable than simply taxing this industry to support more unsustainable spending by Harrisburg. I don’t think Kampf — or anyone on this blog — believe anything other than we should make these companies pay for the costs associated with their activities. in this case, a fee or even a different level tax than the one the House proposed may be the right solution.

    Sean D Reply:

    Hey John!

    I disagree with your presmise… “No question about it 422 decided the race.”
    I think there were many issues that decided this race, 422 had an impact but it was not a deal breaker…

    Look at the data closely…
    Warren won Schuylkill Township by a 2 point larger margin than Guy did in 2008.
    Guy won 4 of the 5 Lower Providence districts in 08, Warren won them again. (Hard to argue 422 made an impact when history holds)
    West Norriton went for Warren in 2010 after going 57% for Paul in 2008.

    Schuylkill and West Norriton and 422 was THE issue? Sorry that one does not fly….

    Look at how Warren out performed Toomey and Corbett in certain areas of the district and there is your answer… I think that as Warren spent time in the districts people were comfortable with him, liked the message and felt he was the guy to lead us. I doubt Warren was talking about 422 on door to door…
    (Yes I can speak from experience here!)

    Lastly John, look at Phoenixville – after Paul swept the 12 voting areas in Phoenixville in 2008; Warren won 2 of them and was basically 50-50 in another… That is impressive!
    Aside from those three Warren won – Warren performed better than Toomey in 7 of the 9 areas and better than Tom Corbett in 4 of the 9.
    Throw in that Jim Gerlach did better than Warren, Tom and Pat and I think it shows that people invested in the election process and gravitated towards the right candidate for them, not just the person with the R next to their name.

    On election day Paul was at a poll in Schuylkill, as a voter was talking to him the question was asked about the direct mail pieces that said he voted for a bill that contained a Billion dollars in tax increases – Paul lied to the voter and said that he had never voted for a tax increase… A person off line asked paul if he was sure he wanted to say that, then they pulled out a blackberry and googled HB 1531. Paul then changed his statement and said if a tax increase was in the bill he was not aware of it… he said that they vote on “3000 bills a year I do not know what is in each one…”
    The Lexus pulled up to get Paul within 2 minutes.

    Want to know why Paul Drucker lost?

  5. Mike,

    Always happy to wrangle with you.

    Re Cheney’secret summit, that’s a fair characterization of a meeting attended by energy bigwigs and only one enviromental rep. The meeting was held in secret. There is no record of what was agreed upon or who attended.

    Out of state / international companies who anticipate making huge profits from gas drilling and care nothing about the pristine environment they are disturbing (except as it pertains to their liability) can rightfully be referred to as carpetbaggers.

    My use of bozos was not nice.

    Karl Rove said what I reported.

    Gingrich overreached in 1994-5 with his government shutdown. I despise him, but I see that he comes up short among his own partisans as well. In every poll ranking possible 2012 presidential candidates, Gingrich is dead last. His arrogance knows no limits.

    I am sticking with my position, shared by a majority of the outgoing PA House, that a fair tax on Marcellus shale that is competitive with other states’ will not be a job killer. Those who are against it are falling for the propaganda the gas companies are selling.

    I agree that none of the tax revenue should end up in the General Fund.

    But it looks like the incoming governor and legislature will favor corporate interests over the people of PA and the environment.. All talk of a tax is evaporating.

  6. Pattye—- who have you heard will replace Mr. Kampf for the remainder of his term? Special Election in May? Vacant seat in the meantime?

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Charles —
    OK, I think I now understand how this will work. Paul Drucker’s term as State Rep ends Nov. 30 and Kampf’s begins on December 1. I assume that Kampf will resign his supervisor position prior to December 1 (although I don’t know that it is a requirement). But if we assume that Kampf resigns as supervisor, an interim Republican supervisor is appointed from that point until the Special Election in May. Whoever wins the Special Election in May will finish out Kampf’s term which was due to end December 31, 2011. But don’t forget there will be a November regular election.

    So as has been explained to me — conceivably between now and January 2012, there could actually be 3 people in that supervisor position! Should be interesting —

    Mr. Roboto Reply:

    I think the PA State Reps take office in January, not December:

    http://www.ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/When_state_legislators_assume_office_after_a_general_election

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Although the State Rep is not ‘officially’ sworn in until January, the ‘unofficial’ start date is December 1 to allow them time to set-up office, staffing, transition, etc. Paul Drucker’s term will officially end November 30, 2010 so it makes sense that when State Reps are sworn in they need to be prepared to begin work immediately. I believe my source of information is accurate — but you are correct the ‘official’ swearing-in date occurs in January.

  7. Last time, it was John Shimrak (when Bill De had to leave prematurely). I’m guessing him again, unless of course they appoint John Petersen….they did that once a long time ago, right John? What do they look for in appointing someone?

  8. John:
    Your trying to get a rise out of people by that “warning” but come on… Tell the story – come on…
    Okay, I will tell it…
    Your wife comes in to the Hair Cuttery on Sunday – where does she sit? yep as fate has it – she sat down across from me… I was already there John so please spare us the made up accusation of me approaching anyone. so your already off to your normal facts-be- damed start…

    When she spelled her name (your last name is spelled funny) for the girl at the counter – I politely asked her if she was related to you – “the John Petersen that works in politics locally.” When she said yes, I introduced myself to her. Smiled and everything…

    Then I asked your wife, who was now on her ipad, to please tell you I said hello…

    Stay away from them, you say… heck you should be proud that I acknowledged that I knew you… not many people would.

    So there it is John the whole one minute play – reenacted for the audience of Pattye’s blog.

    John instead of a one and only warning from you, how about a thank you Sean for being polite to my wife? How about thanks Sean for being a decent guy and saying hello regardless of our differences online? How about thanks for not bringing up the fact to Mrs P that her husband called me “gay” “an “idiot” “Uninformed” et al
    John seriously… you may have sunk to a new low here…

    Just so I am clear — you are saying you would have rather me NOT have said hello and introduced myself to your wife and been polite? So because we disagree online I should pretend this woman does not even exist? Maybe its me and I am the screwed up one, but I am a friendly person and John if I see your wife in public again, now that I know her, I would absolutely say hello if we were sitting staring at each other in a lobby…

    Don’t threaten me big boy… Your warning is misplaced, I await a retraction and a thank you…

    and here I was hoping we would be friends….

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Not quite sure the connection w/ ‘Community Matters’.

  9. JP
    “I guess this is more of you “neutralizing” me… Isn’t that what Warren told you during his victory party???

    You’ll never know how happy I was to hear that comment… ;)

    One other thing…don’t ever approach my family again in public…This is your one and only warning.”

    Patty
    Your comment about what does it have to do with CM…and then you allowed the JP post in response…

    I think the essence of CM is that we are all one community, right? JP — your threat is absolutely symptomatic of major paranoid issues. And then you, of all people, correct a typo? Do you have any idea how many typos you have (I give you the benefit of the doubt calling them typos….) Everyone here does from what I can see.

    I appreciate the Sean response so that JP’s threat doesn’t reflect any reality the rest of us would live in. Reading it gave me pause — learning the reason gave me the creeps.

    So – the connection to CM for me and I hope others is that after an election, life goes on. Warren for some reason is someone JP hates at a level we can not hope to understand, and Paul lost to him. John lost to Paul once, didn’t he? Can’t we let elections be decided by voters and then let it go? Why would anyone run for a public office in this community if their supporters end up as their opponents supporters?

    So John can think Sean is a jerk and has issues….but to threaten him with “one and only warning” doesn’t exactly sound like a solid thinker. I think Sean might have been a bit sardonic suggesting he thought you could be friends John. If he approaches you in public, can we all watch? Wait — in public means we all would be watching.

    Can we all return to some symbolic respect? And Sean D — I dont’ know you, but I don’t think you stepped out of line. Mrs. P certainly could have asked you to buzz off once John identified you for her….but perhaps you should stay away from the family since they appear to fear you.

    Everyone go to your room and think about this.

  10. Typo myself….
    “Why would anyone run for a public office in this community if their supporters end up as their opponents supporters” s/b Why would anyone run for a public office if their supporters end up in mortal combat with the supporters of their opponent? ”
    Political differences…….that should be the bottom line. Personal differences – not relevant.

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